The Break That Doesn’t Come

I keep waiting for a break. A reprieve. A deep, calm breath.

A break that isn’t coming.

I have kids. Chickens. A dog. A house. A family. Chores. It’s a full time job that doesn’t provide pay, holidays, sick days, personal days, or even bathroom breaks.

The baby stood outside the bathroom and cried the entire time I tried to take a ten minute break for myself. (I went to the one that has a door handle she can’t reach.)

I have an endless list of things and people who have needs that must be met in a timely manner or all hell is going to break loose. Some days it does anyways. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

I turn to God and I ask for calm. Five minutes can’t be too much to ask for, can it? This season of my life doesn’t include many breaks, and that means many sleep deprived, foggy, chaos filled days with minimal time to recoup.

They see me when I slam a door, they hear me when I raise my voice. They see my patience run out, and the frustration of not being able to meet everyone’s needs.

It’s easy to get angry, to do the things we shouldn’t, because it feels easier than being sad. It’s less weak than crying, and admitting that mommy is struggling and overwhelmed in that moment. They may not understand entirely what needing a moment of peace is, but we can teach them. We can pull them into our lap, read a book, and sit in a moment of peace together.

It’s better to teach them young that crying is okay. Being sad and having rough moments is okay. Bottling emotions and letting things get out of control is not. It happens to all of us, of course. But it can happen much less often if we give them the tools from the get go.

Luci and I struggle a lot right now because she has big emotions and they tend to come out angry instead of sad. When I try to talk to her or break down how she’s really feeling, she’s my kid that shuts down, that doesn’t want to talk. It’s a struggle trying to navigate how to let her see it’s okay to be honest, to be sad, to need a break from the things going on around her. We’re working on it, though. We’ll get there with time, work, and a whole lot of love.

Back before I had kids, before I even wanted them, I was entirely against it. The world we live in is trying, unsure, and down right terrifying at best. Of course, it seems so much worse than what it used to be. There are days I question what made me decide to go ahead and have them.

The biggest thing I come up with? That I want to raise them to make the world a better place, to bring light to the people they meet, to spread all of the good and wonderful things. I want to raise them to be kind, inclusive, accepting, loving, and genuine people. I pray everyday that I’m on the right path, making the right choices for them, guiding them in the right direction.

I want them to not only share the light, but I want them to feel it for themselves. I don’t want to raise damaged kids that spend their adult life recovering from their childhood. Being a parent isn’t a light burden to carry. It’s scary, it’s terrifying. We can do all the things we feel are right, and from there we put it in God’s hands for it to be enough. For them to want to continue what they’ve been taught, to do the good things. To be exceptional at being kind and good people.

These tiny people need me to guide them and show them the right way to go. They need parents who show them how to properly handle the chaos, the stress. How to handle their emotions. To be gentle and caring to themselves, give themselves grace and leniency for not so great days, but to know that tomorrow is a new day to do better.

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